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History of Reedsburg and the Upper Baraboo Valley 

by Merton Edwin Krug, Democrat printing Company, Madison, Wisconsin 1929

(pages 185-249)


Chapter V

A Record of the Present Day Institutions



Part I brought the history of Reedsburg's pioneer newspaper down to 1861, when N. V. Chandler, then editor, discontinued it and entered the army. In 1872 he re-established it, and was its editor until 1878. It was during this period that Rev. S. A. Dwinnell did his historical writing, and the Chandler papers, on file at the library, have furnished the medium for gleaning a vast amount of material for this volume. Later issues of the paper have also furnished a great field for research. In 1878 Blake and Power took the paper, and the Chandler family moved away. Mr. Blake soon came into full possession of the paper, and was its editor and publisher until March 16, 1893, which is the date that W. F. Hill made his salutation to the readers of the Free Press.

Mr. Hill published the paper until Nov. 30, 1899. At that time George J. Seamens purchased the publication and has retained it to the present time, 1929. Under his able management the paper has become one of the more widely circulated weeklies of the state.

The Free Press has always stood for what was best for the community and city, and has been courageous in its editorial policy since the earliest time. Under Chandler it was an ardent supporter for the election of Lincoln in 1860; so has it continued to serve the cause of righteousness, and aided in insuring the public well-being. It was the Free Press that started the movement many years ago to improve the city park, by urging the City Council to appropriate the price of one saloon license ($500) for the purpose. This the Council did, and the elms, which make the park one of the finest in the state for a city the size of Reedsburg, were secured and set from the fund, as well as other improvements made. The editorials of the Free Press on the improvement of the Big Hill south of the city, with the aid of the Reedsburg Industrial Association, were largely responsible for the retention of the County Farm at its present location, when there was formidable talk of taking it to some other part of the county. The Free Press supported the addition to the High School, the construction of the New Main Street Bridge, the pavement movements, the White Way, and hundreds of issues from time to time, of which space does not permit mention.



The Reedsburg Times was established in 1888 by G. H. Conklin. Conklin failed and sold the paper to Charles Smith. Although Smith continued to publish it until 1899, it was not entirely successful. It had a circulation of only 300. On Sept. 4, 1899 the paper was sold to T. C. Ninman, the present owner, and R. B. Quimby. Both of these men were from Sauk County.

At that time the offices of the paper were on the second floor of the Citizens Bank building. The equipment consisted of nothing more than the absolute necessities. The type was set by hand with little available type. It was printed on a hand cylinder press. The rest of the equipment consisted of one quarter medium job press, a paper cutter, and a few office furnishings.

With the coming of Mr. Ninman and Mr. Quimby, the paper began to grow. New equipment was added as the subscription list grew. In 1908 a new Cylinder press driven by a gas engine was installed. A folding machine binder, and new type was added next. In 1910 a new fire-proof building was erected. At present the Times occupies one half ground floor space. In 1922 a complete stereotype outfit and linotype were installed.

The office is now the personal property of Mr. T. C. Ninman, Mr. Quimby resigning to become postmaster of Reedsburg in 1913. Although he is the owner and publisher of the paper, Mr. Ninman is not the editor. His interests are centered chiefly in the publishing end of the paper. His son Max Ninman is editor. Of the former editors especial mention is made of Miss Mary Green, who filled the editorial chair at different intervals over a period of six years.


The history of the Reedsburg Public Library is an interesting chapter in the story of the growth and progress of the city. The movement which culminated in the final organization of the library had its inception in 1898 in the Woman's Club of this city. During that year Mrs. A. L. Harris, President of the club, and supported by the entire membership, invited Miss Lutie Stearns of the State Library Commission, to come to Reedsburg and address the people of the city, urging upon them the importance and necessity of a free public library. The only terms exacted of the Woman's Club by Miss Stearns were that it must provide a suitable meeting place and have a representative crowd of citizens present to hear her presentation of the subject. The terms were fulfilled and an enthusiastic body of citizens gathered in Brook's Hall, Mayor French presiding.

Miss Stearns' address was both stimulating and convincing, and the direct result of it was the appointment of a Library Committee composed of the following: William Riggert, William B. Smith, James A. Stone, Rev. Father Condon, Mrs. R. P. Perry and Mrs. D. R. Kellogg. Later the committee was enlarged to include Rev. D. B. Finch of the Baptist Church, Rev. G. N. Foster of the Methodist Church, Rev. E. S. Scott of the Presbyterian Church, Mrs. A. L. Harris and Patrick Daly. The first meeting of the committee was held in Hotel Stolte, at which Father Condon was chosen President and Mrs. R. P. Perry, Secretary. This committee did pioneer work for a year, securing funds, awakening interest, and finally organizing the Library.

Upon solicitation Mr. F. E. Hutchens of the State Library Commission at Madison came frequently to meet with the board. Mr. Hutchens possessed rare qualities. He was a man of great vision, trained judgment, and unsparing of himself when opportunity opened the way to aid in bringing to a community the realization of a well equipped library. The establishing of libraries was almost an obsession with him, since he felt so strongly at heart the desire to bring to every hearthside a consciousness of the invaluable influence of good books upon the minds of growing boys and girls. The members of the Library Board felt constant gratitude toward him for his counsel and encouragement during this period of effort over an untried way, to the end that the city of Reedsburg might have permanently established a Public Library.

The library was opened to the public in May, 1899, and presented to the city in October following, designated as the Reedsburg Public Library. Mayor Crook appointed the following as members of the Board of Directors of the new institution: James A. Stone, William Riggert, Peter Byrne, George Morgan, Dr. Kordenot, Mrs. D. R. Kellogg, Mrs. Mary Claridge Schierholtz, and Mrs. W. H. Ramsey, and their first meeting was held Dec. 11, 1899. Mr. Stone was elected temporary chairman. J. H. Hosler was elected President and served in that capacity for fifteen years, resigning July 13, 1914. William Riggert was elected Vice President, and served as such until elected to succeed Mr. Hosler as President. Mr. Riggert filled that position until July, 1921. Mrs. Ramsey was elected Secretary of the board at the time of its organization, and has served in that capacity up to the present time. Mrs. R. P. Perry has been chairman of the Book Committee almost since the beginning.

The original home of the library was in the building now occupied by the postoffice. This building, originally the T. R. Young building, was donated for one year by Mr. and Mrs. D. O. Stine, who owned it. The librarian services were freely given by the members of the Woman's Club, for that year. The library was then moved to the City Hall and a regular librarian was employed, Mrs. Hattie Swetland having the honor to serve in that capacity.

As interest in the library grew, and came to be more and more appreciated, the need for a permanent home began to be felt. Mrs. George Morse presented the city with a lot upon which to locate the building under contemplation. Application was made for $10,000 from the Andrew Carnegie Library Fund, and a pledge given to comply with the terms involved. On May 29, 1911 a contract was let to the Home Lumber and Construction Company of this city for the erection of the present structure, the plans for which were drawn by Claude and Stark of Madison. The decorating of the interior was done by C. N. Rebety. The Building Committee consisted of four citizens, James A. Stone and William Riggert of the Library Board and Byron Randall and William Townsend of the City Council. The new building was opened and dedicated on New Years Day, 1912, with a public house-warming and suitable program.

Mrs. N. A. Cushman, as librarian of the Reedsburg Public Library, deserves especial mention for her faithful and continuous service since March 15, 1901, and has a well merited record for efficiency in her own community, as well as a reputation and organized standing among the well-known librarians of the state. Mrs. Albert Chamberlain has been assistant librarian for ten years, and is also possessed of a worthy record.

Valuable gifts of books, pictures and money have been made to the Library from time to time. A legacy of $1,000 from Mrs. Emma Ward, and a gift from the J. D. Devor estate have been especially generous. For several years the Old Settlers organization has made annual contributions to the Library Fund, to be devoted especially to the expense of collecting and acquiring whatever might be possibly of interest and value in Reedsburg history, to be given permanent home in the library.

The present official Library Board consists of the following: Mrs. W. R. Ramsey, Mrs. R. P. Perry, Mrs. George Claridge, Mrs. R. B. Quimby, Mr. James A. Stone, who succeeded the late August Siefert, successor of William Riggert, as President, D. O. Stine, Harry Kjorstad, William Hahn, and Conrad Wiesler.



This organization, which is, as a national order, perhaps the most active and beneficent of its kind in existence today, was first instituted as a ladies' auxiliary to the military order known as the Grand Army of the Republic. How it was originally founded, first, as the G. A. R. Ladies, and then reorganized as the Woman's Relief Corps, we will not attempt to delineate here. Suffice it to say that where it was first composed of ladies who were connected by blood or marriage to Civil War Veterans, whereas only wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, etc., were eligible, no hereditary virtues are required today, and any upright American woman, who can get the general vote of the members of the chapter she wishes to join, is entitled to membership to the Woman's Relief Corps. The order was originally planned to care for the veterans of the Civil War, but for many vears it has been engaged in general charity work, doing for poor children, for the sick, for those who cannot find employment, for all who are needy, and in this way many thousands of dollars worth of foodstuffs, clothing and money and flowers are given away each year.

The H. A. Tator Woman's Relief Corps, No. 25, was organized in the G. A. R. Hall, December 28, 1888, with the following twenty-six charter members:

Mrs. Hannah Ellinwood Mrs. Nellie Seeley
Mrs. Amanda Kelley Mrs. Elizabeth Crall
Mrs. Mary Fosnot Mrs. Hannah E. Coleman
Mrs. Mary E. Wyse Mrs. Laura E. Parker
Mrs. Mary J. Fish Mrs. Delia Weidman
Mrs. Lizzie Kelley Miss Mamie Brooks
Mrs. Hattie E. Sprague Miss Mary Sweatland
Mrs. Nellie E. Persons Miss Alma Brady
Mrs. May I. Bedford Miss Lydia Thayer
Mrs. Persis M. Winnie Miss Alma Winnie
Mrs. Hattie E. Hager Miss Bell Fosnot
Mrs Mary Lawsha Miss Lena Wyse
Mrs. Narcissa Brooks Miss Lettie Green


Mrs. Narcissa Brooks was elected president, and Mrs. Mary Lawton of North Freedom came early in January with the state conductor, and installed the officers. Both Mrs. Brooks and Mrs. Lawton survive this season, 1928, the fortieth anniversiry of the local order. Other charter members who, with Mrs. Brooks, are still living, are: Lydia Thayer, now Mrs. Kinnamon; Mrs. Weidman, now Mrs. Delia Gardner; Mrs. Mary E. Wyse, widow of Col. Wyse. All four are still members, although Mrs. Kinnemon and Mrs. Wyse are no longer residents of Reedsburg.

We give the presidents in chronological order:

Mrs. Narcissa Brooks, 1888-1889; 1891, Mrs. Hattie Sprague; 1893, Mrs. Hannah Ellinwood; 1895, Mrs. Ida Kelley; 1896, Lettie Miles; 1898, Hannah Coleman; 1899, Sarah Spicer; 1901, Felina Fessey; 1902, Ida Kelley; 1903, Evelyn Phillips; 1904, Elizabeth Kinsley; 1905, Sarah Spicer; 1906, Mary Blank; 1907, Isabinda Wright; 1908, Ida Kelley; 1911, Alma Randall; 1913, Lettie Miles; 1915, Mary Huntley; 1917, Alma Randall; 1918, Jennie Winkler; 1919, Ida Kelley; 1920, Alice Henry; 1921, Mary Tibbits; 1922, Ida Kelley; 1923, Jesse Burton; 1924, Edie Struebing; 1926, Mary Pelton; 1927, Mrs. X. Reese; 1928, Mrs. Alice J. Collins; 1929, Maud Squires.

From this we see that Mrs. Fremont (Ida) Kelley served the society as president for seven years, the largest number years any individual has served. So long as the H. A. Tator Post of the G. A. R. held meetings the local Woman's Relief Corps met in the G. A. R. Hall, later, when the numbers of the post became so depleted that meetings were abandoned, it became necessary for the W. R. C. to have a hall of their own. The Eagle Hall was rented as a place for meeting, and is still used as such. These benevolent meetings are held every first and third Saturday of the month.

The members for the past year (1928) are:

Mary Aton, Narcissa Brooks, Emma Brooks, Mary Blank, Mary Buelow, Meta Barnhart, Effie Bennett, Mate Bohn, Lucy Buckley, Cora Bass, Daisy Chamberlain, Alice J. Collins, Julia Coleman, Angie Craker, Verona Carpenter, Sarah Camp, Sarah Claridge, Evelyn C. Dame, Alice Dano, Ella Darrenougue, Alma Droes, Sarah Emery, Angeline Ende, Anna Felske, Louise Ford, Helen Foss, Rhoda Fish, Alice Fleming, Cordelia Gardner, Eva Geffert, Olive Gulliford, Gertie Gemmill, Ida Gregory, Evelvn Grover, Mary Haas, Emma Hansbury, Salome Hudson, Annie Hurd, Ella Hulburt, Annie Huntley, Virginia Ihde, Eva Jett, Teona Jester, Mate Kelley, Elizabeth Kinsley, Lydia Kinnamon, Esther Kocher, Ruth Lucht, Lydia Markham, Mattie McClure, Francis Miles, Mildred Morcom, Inez Miller, Elizabeth Mundth, Grace Mepham, Clara Martin, Bessie Muloch, Julia Ninman, Ella Niebuhr, Bernice O'Conner, Vernie Olson, Mary Pelton, Evelyn Phillips, Mary Powell, Alma Randall, X. Kester Reese, Maud Retzlaff, Jessie Retzlaff, Minnie Sass, Nellie O'Conner, Wilde Rose O'Conner, Nellie Kelley, Emma Seamans, Ida Schoephoester, Minnie Siefert, Louise Smith, Emma Snyder, Maud Squires, Gertrude Stricker, Edie Struebing, Elsie Schroeder, Nettie Suszycki, Adeline Stolte, Cora Smith, Mina Thom , Lena Townsend, Henrietta Weston, Mary Webley, Jesse Wheeler, Lillie Wheeler, Belle Wheeler, Alma Wheeler, Mary Wyse, Hattie Weston, Edna Walling, and Edie Wischoff. Which membership counts ninety-seven.

The social unit of the Woman's Relief Corps is the Willing Workers Aid, which, made up of the entire membership of the Corps, meets it some member's home the second Tuesday of each month. This is strictly a social gathering of the ladies of the Relief Corps. The officers of the Willing Workers Aid, at the present time, are, Mary Pelton, President; Henrietta Weston, Vice-President; Elizabeth Mundth, Secretary; and Grace Mepham, Treasurer.

The officers of the Woman's Relief Corps for the present term are:

President, Alice J. Collins; Senior Vice-President, Maud Squires; Junior Vice-President, Bernice O'Conner; Secretary, Edle M. Struebing (who furnished data for this sketch); Chaplain, Henrietta Weston; Treasurer, X. Kester Reese; Conductor, Louise Smith; Guard, Adeline Stolte; Pat. Inst., Mary Blank; Press Cor., Emma Seamans; Musician, Clara Martin; Assistant Conductor, Anna Felske; Asst. Guard, Edie Wischoff; Color Bearer; No. 1, Mate Kelley; No. 2, Alma Droes; No. 3, Lucy Buckley; No. 4, Evelyn Phillips.


The Woman's Club of Reedsburg came into existence more than thirty-four years ago. We give a brief history of the organization, from data furnished by Mrs. R. P. Perry.

An item from the Free Press dated February 22, 1894, reads as follows: "Woman's Clubs are becoming popular all over the land and are filling a place which nothing else can. All women interested are urged to meet in the parlors of Hotel Stolte, on the afternoon of February 28, 1894."

When the response to the above invitation brought together a representative group of women at the hotel it became known that Mrs. A. L. Harris had issued the call, and on that day the Woman's Club was founded. Three of the charter members who were present on this occasion thirty-four years ago are active members of the club today. They are Mrs. John. P. Stone, Mrs. Jesse Ryan and Mrs. R. P. Perry. When the State Federation of Woman's Clubs was organized in October, 1896, the Reedsburg Woman's Club was represented on that occasion in Milwaukee by Mrs. Perry and Mrs. W. H. Ramsey, and became a charter member of the State Federation.

When the local club was organized, Mrs. A. L. Harris was elected president, and was a most able leader until death claimed her, in March, 1899, bringing an irreparable loss to the club. The original purpose of the club was for study, cultural ends and friendly contact; but as the horizon of the State Federation grew, and the scope of its activities broadened, the Reedsburg Club kept pace. Its interests reached out to include service along many lines affecting individual and family life. Each year modest contributions of money have been made to causes adjudged worthy. It may be said in a general way, that there has been manifest in the life of the Woman's Club the constant desire to create better ideals of American citizenship, to consider the problems of public welfare, and to reach out and upward to that most-to-be-desired end, the Art of Fine Living.

The initial steps toward the establishment of a Free Public Library in Reedsburg were taken by the Women's Club. This organization had at heart the need of a free public library. After discussing ways and means by which to bring the matter before the public, it was voted to invite Miss Lutie Stearns of the State Library Commission at Madison to come to Reedsburg as guest of the club, to present the important subject to the citizens of the city. But the history of the library movement is fully given under the proper heading, and need not be repeated here.

The thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the Woman's Club was enthusiastically and very appropriately celebrated on March 3, 1924, at a meeting held at the home of Mrs. R. P. Perry, to which many guests were invited. After a program in which many members took part, an able and charming address was given by the late Mr. H. E. Cole of Baraboo.

It may be fairly claimed that the influence and achievements of the Woman's Club of Reedsburg, through the thirty-four years of its existence, fully justifies its being.



The Fay-Robinson Chapter of the D. A. R., which celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of its founding on June 14, 1928, is the eighth chapter, chronologically, of the forty-three now fully organized in the state of Wisconsin. One of the highest social orders in the nation, the D. A. R. is ever commanding the highest respect of the people in the community in which its chapters exist, and so, too, is this true of the local chapter. This patriotic organization, membership to which is always and absolutely governed by heredity, is dedicated to perpetuate the memory of the soldiers who fought for American Independence, and to advance interest in all patriotic lines. Most active, perhaps, in organizing a chapter in the city of Reedsburg was Mrs. R. P. Perry.

Having become a member of the National Society, D. A. R., in 1896, Mrs. Perry was early appointed by Mrs. James S. Peck of Milwaukee, the State Regent, organizing regent for Reedsburg and vicinity, with credentials sent to her from Washington, D. C. It followed that many Reedsbirg people became interested; accordingly on Flag Day, 1897, at the home of Mrs. Perry, the first steps toward the formation of a chapter were taken, including an application for a charter. One year later, June 14, 1898, the first meeting of the Fay-Robinson Chapter, D. A. R., fully organized, occurred at the Perry home. A charter had been received prior to the meeting, and was inscribed with twelve names (this is the minimum number with which a chapter may be organized) which shows the original charter members as follows:

Mrs. R. P. Perry, Mrs. O. R. Ryan, Mrs. Wm. Miles, Mrs. A. L. Harris, Mrs. W. M. Ramsev, Mrs. Mable Hunt Heaton, Miss Neely, Miss Chase, Miss Alica Kent, Miss Harris, Miss Della Dennett, Miss Porter.

The officers were, Mrs. Perry, Regent; Miss Dennett, Secretary; Mrs. W. H. Ramsey, Registar; and Mrs. O. R. Ryan, Treasurer.

The naming of the chapter was brought up at this first meeting, and the name by which the chapter is now known, was suggested by Mrs. A. L. Harris. It combines the ancestral names of two Revolutionary forebears of Mrs. R. P. Perry, whose interest and activity led to the founding of the chapter. The names, Fay and Robinson, appear with decided prominence in the annals of the founding of the city of Bennington, Vt., and in all the stirring activities of the Revolutionary period famous in Vermont history.

Mrs. Perry retained the regency for many years. Mrs. I. F. Thompson was elected to succeed her. The latter was succeeded by Mrs. N. T. Gill, and she in turn by Mrs. Glen Howland, who is regent at the present time.

It may be truthfully claimed that the record of the endeavors and achievements of this patriotic organization is a creditable one. It has made continuous effort to aid in upholding the fundamental principles of the great National Society of the D. A. R., to cherish, maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom, to foster patriotism and love of country, to aid in securing for all mankind the blessings of liberty, and to support the crusaders of World Peace movements.

At the present time the Fay-Robinson Chapter is much interested in the forthcoming marking of the grave of Mrs. Sarah Darrow, widow of Ammiras Darrow, a Revolutionary Soldier. This lady died in Winfield, Sauk County, Wis., Dec. 6, 1856., at the age of ninety-two years, and is interred in the Greenwood Cemetery. There are also several real daughters interred in local cemeteries and these graves will also be marked in the near future.



Repeated efforts, during the past years, to organize one or more Boy Scout troops in Reedsburg, having failed, the year of 1928 brought a new interest in that great international movement and an increased enthusiasm in establishing an order in our city. Aceordingly, a meeting was held in the high school building on the evening of March 15, 1928, at which there were present a number of local business men, who were interested in the movement. Mr. Louis Fuchs was especially active at this meeting, and it was decided to attempt organizing two troops. Troop committees were appointed to raise the troops, and within a few days sufficient numbers had become interested and the organization was assured. The minimum number with which a troop may be organ ized being eight, this was surpassed with a personnel of twelve in Troop 1 and eighteen in Troop 2.

Troop l,with a present membership of seventeen, is under the leadership of Mardin Phillips; Troop 2, whose membership now constitutes a full troop of thirty-three members, is under the leadership of Elwood Young. These leaders are called Scoutmasters. Both troops were chartered by the National Council, Boy Scouts of America, Sept. 15, 1928, and, through the National Council, by the United States Congress.

Troop 2, which has the distinction of being the only full troop in the State of Wisconsin, has had a very active year, under the able leadership of their Scoutmaster. The purpose of the Boy Scout Movement being to further better physical and mental development and higher ideals, the local troops have gained the unanimous support of the city.

On Sunday, August 10, twenty members of Troop 2, left for a week's trip to the lake region of northern Wisconsin, returning the following Sunday, August 18, 1928. The trip was made possible by the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. T. C. Ninman, who offered the use of their summer cottage at Trump Lake, near Crandon, in Forest County, Wis. The bovs were accompanied by Mr. tnd Mrs. Ninman, Mrs. Harry Kjorstad, Alvin Schuett, and Mrs. Carl Schuett, whose cars furnished transportation. While in the north the Scouts had an opportunity to visit lumber camps, sawmills, beaver-dams, the virgin forests, and numerous lakes in that locality.

Hiking, which is one of the chief recreations of Scouts, has given them an opportunity to be out with nature. One hike of particular note was that to Hemlock Slough, north of Lavalle, Wis., which was an overnight expedition. On October 26, 1928, they made an auto trip to Madison to attend a football game, as guests of the University of Wisconsin Athletic Department. In November, 1928, Elwood Young organized the personnel of Troop 2, into a Drum and Bugle Corps, consisting of the following classifications: ten cadet drummers, one base drummer, two cymbalers, eighteen buglers, and two flag-bearers, with high grade instruments. The scouts are all in full uniforms. The international organization of the Boy Scouts is the largest uniformed organization in the world today, its membership exceeding 5,000,000 boys, ranging between the ages of twelve to eighteen years, with troops in practically every civilized country of the globe. No national army in the world surpasses in number the Boy Scouts.


The first steps toward the formal organization of a local unit of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, took place in June, 1884, when a constitution was drawn and signed. The earliest members, whose names appear on the front pages of the record book, were as follows: Mrs. S. C. Chase, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Barret, Mrs. C. E. Gulliford, Miss Lydia Thayer, Mrs. Una Barker, Mrs. Curtis, Mrs. S. A. Dwinnell, Mrs. G. O. Howard, Mrs. E. C. Booth, Miss Jennie Miles, Mrs. D. R. Kellogg, Mrs. S. T. Ambrose, Mrs. Mary D. Seeley, Miss Jessie F. Ambrose, Miss Lizzle E. Nye, Miss Carrie E. Ambrose, Mrs. John Rork, Miss Lizzle Lawson, Mrs. A. B. West, M. M. Hall, Mrs. E. Z. DuBois, Mrs. O. R. Ryan, Mrs. O. E. Root, Mrs. W. P. Blake, Mrs. F. E. Russel, Mrs. Carrie Clark, Mrs. Porter Birch, Mrs. N. W. Wells, Mrs. W. R. Churchill, Miss P. Bishop, Miss Helen A. Bickford, Mrs. W. P. Dennett and Mrs. P. H. Mason. Continually, since the date of its organization, the local union has been a force in temperance work, and is still one of the most active bodies of local residents.


The first burial in this community brought to our attention was that of a man named Farrington, who died at the house of Don Carlos Barry, on Copper Creek. Mr. Farrington, who, it is said, was a young man, was in the employ of the surveyor who held a contract with the United States government for subdividing the town of Reedsburg (although it was not Recdsburg then) into sections, during the summer of 1846, and it was while thus engaged that he was taken ill. Doctor Woodrough, the pioneer physician of Prairie du Sac, was summoned to his bedside, but to no avail, and this is the story of the first death within these parts. The body was enclosed within a rough board casket by Messrs. Barry, Babb and the doctor, and given burial on a knoll just north of Mr. Barry's dwelling.

With the possible exception of the adopted daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Austin Seeley, whose name is not remembered and the date of whose death is a vague uncertainty (see page -) the year 1849 gives record of no fatalities, it least to the writer's knowledge. But the next year, 1850, records six deaths, with burials in Reedsburg. The first of these, that of David B. Howard, occurred on February, 6, 1850.

At that time David C. Reed gave a tract of land for the burial of the dead, which tract is now in the residential section of Reedsburg. In this plot were deposited the bodies of five adults and six children. This graveyard was neither fenced nor surveyed, and with the exception of two, none of these graves were marked. But when the Greenwood Cemetery was established in 1855 these bodies were removed thither and monuments were erected. This is obvious, for on markers in the Greenwood Cemetery we read the following inscriptions, all of which ante-date 1855

Ruth, wife of Ransom Smith, died May 5, 1850
Phoebe Locke, dau. of Elder Locke, died August 28, 1850
Sally Allen, wife of S. Noyse, October 9, 1850
Carlton Gay Sperry, infant son of L. Gay Sperry, October 26,1850
Marion Shaw, dau. of Mr. and Mrs. N. Shaw, October 30, 1850
Levi Locke, son of the Elder, August 25, 1851
Helen Coughran, September 20, 1851
Edward Schultz, September 6, 1852
Jane Rushmore, April 18, 1853
Andrew J. Priest, September 18, 1853
Robert Williams, January 27,1854
Thomas Smith, April 17, 1854
Mary M. Welch, September 11, 1854


In addition to these there is a record of a Mrs. Atwater (said by some to have been a sister to David C. Reed) having been buried here in the fall of 1854. This was the first body given direct interment in the Greenwood Cemetery, the others having been removed here from other graves. As there are thirteen graves ante-dating the opening of the cemetery, it is evident that two bodies were brought in from out-of-town burials. Next after Mrs. Atwater's burial comes that of James Cottington, a young man of twenty-one years, brother of Jesse Cottington, the hop-grower. He died Feb. 11, 1855. Other 1855 deaths were:

Albert Hawkins, May 18, 1855
Mary E. Bowen, August 7, 1855
Martha Bowen, August 13, 1855
Adelbert Bunce, August 17, 1855
Joseph Warren, October 12, 1855
Jason Rood, November 18, 1855


Of the deaths of 1856 we have records of the following:

Mary Coughran, April 7, 1856
Harriett Wheeler, wife of E. G. Wheeler, January 27, 1856
David Helm, August 27, 1856
Sarah Fisher Darrow, wife of Ammiras Darrow, a Revolutionary Soldier, December 6, 1856

Mrs. Darrow's birthdate is the earliest found in connection with the pioneers of this community. She was born in 1764, in New London, Connecticut, where her girlhood was spent. While still a young girl the Revolution broke out and she was to live to see her father's tannery burned by Benedict Arnold in 1781, and to marry, as it were, a Revolutionary veteran, become a Revolutionary widow, and receive a widow's pension. Then she was to survive the death of her husband, whom she married in 1786, which occurred in 1824, in Boonville, Oneida Co., N. Y., was to go to Ohio with a son, Jedediah Darrow, whose son Ammiras was to become the father of Clarence S. Darrow, the world-famous Chicago barrister, and then, eventually, was to come to Winfield where another son, Henry Ammiras Darrow, was a pioneer in 1852, and where she was to relinquish claim to life, at the advanced age of 92 years.

On August 25, 1854, the Greenwood Cemetery Association, which had been organized by a group of prominent citizens of the village at that time, purchased of S. A. Dwinnell five acres of land, for the sum of forty dollars. This tract was consecrated on the 8th day of May, 1856. A small audience assembled at two thirty P.M., in the shade of an oak tree which then stood near the grave of Mrs. Wheeler, previously mentioned. A prayer of consecration was uttered by Elder E. D. Barbour, of the Baptist Church, after which Rev. Dwinnell delivered a fine address, a part of which we are glad to pass on to posterity:

"We have assembled, respected friends and neighbors, to consecrate this enclosure for all future time as the receptacle of the dead. The ceremony, though in itself very simple and unattended with a display which wealth and rank is accustomed to throw around such transactions, but in it much that is calculated to excite deep feeling and lend to sound consideration.

This world is not our home forever. We are travelers through it-sojourners here for a little season- strangers and pilgrims as all our fathers were. A great and striking change is soon to come over us. Husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends will soon be separated by death. No degree of usefulness, no elevation of rank or station, no attachments however endearing, and no ties of affection however strong can save us from the power of this destroyer.

We shall have occasion to say, as Abraham said to the children of Heth, 'Give us a possession of a burying-place among you that we may bury our dead out of our sight.' Provision must be made by the living for the decent interment of the dead. Reason, humanity and decency demand it. It is a dictate of natural law as well as that of divine revelation. It has been decreed by the common consent of mankind, even to enemies slain in battle and to the most profane among men.

Many of us will have a deep interest here. To this spot we shall be called to follow the remains of a husband, wife, father, mother, brother, sister, or child, and here, no doubt, will some of our bodies rest with kindred dust until earth shall give up her dead; and here, together with the thousands whose bodies shall repose in this field, we shall rise in the morning of the final resurrection.

May we all have some faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, as to furnish a support to us in our bereavements, and in our own desolations. And when we lie down in death may we give to the grave a joyful hope of a glorious resurrection and a blessed immortality."


Looking Back*
By Mrs. Minnie Sparks

If one had lived in Reedsburg

Some seventy* years ago,

And gone to some far country

Where letters never go,

Or, Rip Van Winkle like,

Had slept the years away,

Should he now come back to Reedsburg

I wonder what he'd say. . .

Mayhap: "I wonder what I've struck,

Or rather what's struck me,

For either this isn't Reedsburg,

Or else this isn't me.

I've been looking for a cabin

Where once I used to dwell,

And I thought, before I got here

I could find the place quite well;

I was sure they called out Reedsburg,

But of course I know it's not,

For if it was I'm sure I'd find

Just one familiar spot.

But, with schoolhouses and churches,

With stores, hotels and mills,

And its beautiful dwelling houses

'Tis a city among the hills.

Then he stops to gaze in wonder

At high school on the hill,

Standing high above the city

Like some giant sentinel;

And so he wanders through the streets,

Till daylight fades away

And darkness falls around him

And he cannot find his way.

When lo! all of a sudden,

He stops to shade his eyes,

A light above and round him

Seems coming through the skies.

Oh! I wonder where am I,

Lost, I'm sure," said he;

"Or, if this is the city Reedsburg,

Why, then this isn't me!

Then he stood and thought a moment:

And he said to himself out loud,

"I'll just stand here and wait,

There's coming quite a crowd. . .

It may be I'll hear something

Or see someone I know,

And then, if I'm mistaken,

I'll just pack up and go."

So he stands back in the shadow,

Until the crowd comes near,

And then almost shouts with gladness,

Though he brushes away a tear.

For he sees familiar faces

In that crowd that's passing by.

"Now I know that this is Reedsburg,

And I know that this is I."

The settlers old of Reedsburg,

Our dear old pioneers,

Started the ball a rolling

Way back in the vanished years;

So the settlers of today,

Be they old ones or the new,

May well be proud of Reedsburg,

And Reedsburg proud of you.

* This poem was written for an Old Settlers Meeting more than thirty years ago. The second line originally read "forty years" instead of "seventy". It has been modernized in more than one instance by the Editor.




As was said in an early part of this work, MIss Amanda Saxby, daughter of the Rev. J. S. Saxby, Congregational Minister, was the first to teach a school in the village of Reedsburg, and her classes were held in her father's house during 1849. The next year Miss Amanda Wheeler, who later became the wife of S. R. Chase, conducted a school in a part of the mill-house and in the Saxby residence, which was subsequently known as the Green Tavern. There were twenty pupils. Late that fall, a school district having been formed in the village, a schoolhouse was opened, and that winter, 1850-51, the first public school in the town of Reedsburg was taught by Rollin A. Strong. This small schoolhouse served the village for six years, and among the teachers were the following: S. J. Brown, C. P. Sanford, Seymour Sage, Miss Esther Smith, and others.

In 1856 the district acquired a school site on the Northwest corner of Sixth and Pine Streets, the present location of the High School, for the sum of $300, and erected a schoolhouse 30 by 40 feet in size, and in December of that year school began, with three teachers, Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Conger and Miss Emma Tator. For the next twelve years the school was under the direction of such widely known teachers as Alexander P. Ellinwood, Miss Alma Haskell, Charles Newcomb, W. S. Hubbell, Sarah Shaw, Francis M. Iams, Sarah Flanders, William Gillespie, J. Bloomer, George Gregory, Frances Smith (later Mrs. A. L. Harris), and Orsen Green. On Februarv 7, 1868 the schoolhouse burned to the ground, and was not protected by insurance.

In the summer of 1868 a new schoolhouse was built upon the site of the old one (and the site of the new), 40 by 50 feet, arranged for three departments and four teachers.* Mr. F. Green of Wyocena, was the builder, and the structure cost $5,700. Albert Earthman, who later became widely known and highly successful in the profession, commenced teaching in October of that year, and was head of the Reedsburg School for the next six years, assisted in the departments by various young ladies, among them Miss Emeline Martindale (Mrs. J. S. Worth-
man). Mr. Earthman was followed by Mr. J. H. Gould, who served in the school two years, and was assisted by Misses Jennie Little and Roxa Taylor.

In 1875 a high school was erected, and the alumni begins with that date. The old schoolhouse stood until 1903, when the south part of the present school edifice was erected at a cost of less than $50,000. This served with ampleness the needs of the city at the time, but as the years went by it became necessary to enlarge the building, and the north addition was erected in 1923, at an approximate cost of $100,000.

*This paragraph is from the Sauk County History of 1880.


Rosa Gifford Lyman A. Murray James S. Thomas
James S. Ingalls James A. Stone  
Carrie Jones Mina L. Stone  


Callie Ramsey Carrie Young


John R. Davis Louis D. Rudd Walter Seymour
J. Weston Miller Merton Seymour Giles L. Stevens


Mary Nichols Virgil Ramsey


Will Andrus Mamie Brooks Walter D. Sheldon
John Bishop Lillian Russell Emma Whitely


Hoyt Cortelyou Mildred Forbes Leopold Schlatter
Bina Finnegan Mary Nye Lena Wyse


Henry Halbersleben May Nichols


Ernest M. Gale Alma Winnie


John Alexander Lizzie Hamilton Arcie L. Kellogg
Laura Claridge Julia Harris Sam Weidman


D. S. Benedict Mirren McIntosh Arthur R. Seymour
Myrtie Benedict Clarence E. Merriman Morris W. Smith
E. F. Dithmar Edward F. Schultz  


M. Henry Bishop Archie Priest George W. Stolte
Jessie F. Hager Nellie F. Randall  
J. E. Harris Mable B. Rork  



Albert H. Clark Fannie Goodwin Blanch V. Russell
Lulu Dearholt Mabel Hunt  
Florence Franch Otto Rohrlack  


Jessie Carver Frank Spicer


Mabel Carver Floyd DuBois Arthur Miles
Forrest Darrenougue Ida Guetzlaff Edna Young
Della Dennett Huldah Kruezman  


Ida C. Byrne Bessie Heaton Merrill Seldon
George Claridge Grace Hosler Lydia Stolte
Alta Churchill Ferne Ryan Myrtle Sweatland
Gladys Gale Nettie Sedgwick Eda Vorlop


Belle Coleman Mable Sheldon Edna Swetland
Edith Heaton Edith Smith Fred Young
Charles Pearson Winnifred Stone  


Genevieve Blank Elizabeth Halbersleben Sidney Richardson
Joshua Claridge Ruth Heaton Inez Spring
Lydia Geffert Grace Kellogg Clyde Stewart
Alfred Goodell Florence Ramsey  


Emil Brammert Eva Slaven Mary Wyse
Elmer Fuller Frieda Stolte  
Gussie Heyer Ella Wischoff  


Jessie Black Glen Howland Hugo Riggert
Ruby K. Canon Emma Kelley Ed. Snyder
Lena Carpenter Clara Kipp Lena Stolte
Margie Dano Alma L. Liessmann Charles H. Stone
Rollin S. Foster Agnes Luhrsen  
Clara Fuller W. D. Morgan  


Nellie Bohn Eliza Craker Rudolph E. Hagenah
Belle Carver Grace Darrenougue Carlton Hilbert
Luella Corbin Roy Dorland Della Swetland
Theodore W. Collins Esther Geffert Mildred Winnie


May E. Breene George LaRue C. Mackey Rood
Alice J. Ellinwood Myra M. Powell Otto J. Roper
Guy Graham Blanche Prouty Albert Shhoephester
Mary Green George Ramsey James Wyse
Edmund Huebing Paul Ramsey   
Faye Kinsley Florence Richardson  


Louie Babb Nellie O'Connor Sidney Spring
Olga Karll Edna Perry Anna L. Stone
Arthur E. Kelley Elsie Root  
Selma Langenham Phrona Roper  


Albert Fuchs Bessie Reid Theresa Timlin
Harry Hosler Christian Schneider Lila Van Akin
Gertrude Johnstone Stella Staples Amanda Wischoff
Meta Kordenot J. Riley Stone Ida Zimmerman
William Liessmann Fred B. Swetland  


Carrie Collins Maude Pearson Joseph F. Swetland
John A. Conley Hazel Prouty rvin Townsend
Mable Johnstone May Sanders Myrtle Vickers
Hilda Meyer Chester Smith  


Florence Black Merry Hanko Martha Schacke
Henry Bohn Ewald Meyer George Schoephoester
Agnes Breene Orin Ramsey Hugo H. Siefert
Lillian Brooks Werner Raetzman Agnes Sieneke
Grace Cady Werner Richmond Evalyn Smith
May Claridge Paula Roper Immogene Snyder
Clinton Fuller Glen Rork Josie St. John
Fred Grabner Jassamine Sainsbury Hulda Sweet


Cora E. Brown Theresa Horkan Mille Stone
June N. Darrenougue Mildred B. Hosler Maud Vickers
Zita Donahue Jessie M. Hudson Leo Wackman
Ethel L. Edwards Martha Jolitz Eleanor Weidman
Frieda Ferber Eva Powell Irene Weidman
Pearl Fuller Esther Schoephoester  
Nellie Horkan Elda B. Sprecker  


Alice Black Alma Hahn Emma Sherwood
Ethel Davis J. Z. Hudson  
Elizabeth Fisher Catherine McDonnell  


Grace Bates Thersa Flynn Pearl Premo
Hansen Blank Lydia Grafke Hilda Raetzman
Essie Brooks Carrie Greenwood Nellie Root
Harry Brooks George Henry Louise Rudd
Genevieve Byrne Blanche Johnson Martha Vorlop
J. D. Claridge Leo Kundert Fred Tyler
Evan Darrenougue Reba Stone Maston  
Will Finnegan Hazel Phillips  


Will G. Ballentine Paul F. Graf Harry P. Powell
Arthur Bates Margery Huebing Jessie Powell
Eva Bohn Frank Kerrigan Thomas Powell
Eulalia Breene Marie Kleb Genevieve Reynolds
Edward Conley Isabel LaRue Lillian Sanger
John Corcoran August Martin Clara Seineke
Hazel Craker Delia Meyer Martha Sherwood
Gertrude Donahue Walter Meyer Minnie Stoll
B. Harrison Dudleson Wilma Pickering  


Charles Blanchard Edith Frazier Everett Prouty
Alta Bohn Edith Frazier Rosetta Reese
Bessie Bohn Edna M. Karll Alta Richards
Gladys V. Craker H. D. Russell Kellogg Bessie C. Rood
Daunine Darrenougue Frank Loughney Edward Scanlan
Madeline Darrenougue Lillian I. Luhrsen Anna H. Smythe
Zina Donahue Fred Mueller Eva Sparks
Madeline Foss Walter D. Powell Merl Talbot


Earnest Black George Hass Arthur Rabuck
Clarence Bohn Arthur Hulburt Edna Randall
James Clark Katharine Kleb Elda Riggert
Icel Crall Elsie Luedtke Paul Schewe
Justin Davis Albert Miller Tillie Schlumberger
Charles Finnegan Iva Neville Floyd Smith
Quanita Geffert Benjamin Paddock Laurel Sweet
Helen Goodearle Virgil Powell Melissa Wilson


Martin Behnke Louise Hass Herbert Miller
Katie Bishop Harvey Heidman Joseph Mulady
Vede Collins Otto Heine Freda Reitman
Harold Conley Hazel Hindra Clarence Roloff
Anna Corcoran Donald Hosler Doris Townsend
Agnes Croal Leslie Jones Ed. Vorlop
Floyd J. DeBarr Frank Kleb Eliza Whitty
Odessa Elder Ethel Mallon  
Frances Fish Ruth McCarthy  


Gretchen Aton Clarissa Henry Westley Snyder
Esther Brown Agnes Hurd Rose S. Sparks
Melvin Davis Ruth Kordenot Ruth Sparks
Walter Donahue Hester Knowles Cecilia Thiemann
James Fadden Glen Miller Florence Thompson
Minnie Foss Nina Pelton Forest Vayette
Irna Hastings Henry Powell Mabel Wiseman
Dorothy Hawkins Elva Schuette  
Minnie Holtz Phillip Schweke